Seventh Inning







Special Edition of                                   


Official Publication of the Hot Stove League                     

Eastern Nebraska Division                                    

Guest Editor:  Jon "Stretch" Blongewicz                        


2004 Season                             Edition No. 24                                  August 10, 2004

It is pleasing to see that recent guest writers have shown restraint and embraced the philosophy that "less is more."  I too shall be brief, in no small part, due to the fact that there is so little good to report about the Blues.   And if it is not about me, why would I want to talk about your teams? A few tidbits of news and notes:
§ I recently traded with both Mitch (a total of 3 done) and Ted (47 e-mails, nine voice mails, 62 total players discussed; just a tad-bit of whining and just 1 lecture on why I don’t know what I am doing).   All in all, not a bad experience.
¨ Sometimes in a trade it is not a bad idea to just pull the trigger.   Case in point: Big Guy makes a simple offer: Eric Gagne for Mark Prior.   For reasons unknown to mankind, I hesitated and waffled, thought and thought and thought.   Next start Prior leaves after 2 innings with a bad elbow.   Trade dead.   (Prior has rebounded somewhat and trade talks did resume, but I had already traded for Nathan.)
© Speaking of Prior.   As you know Big Guy and I selected back to back in this year’s draft, I one pick ahead.   To both our amazement, Mark Prior and Randy Johnson were available in our bottom positions of the first round, Prior because he was hurt and Johnson presumably because he is a little long in the tooth.   After my usual agonizing, I take Prior; Big Guy, Johnson.   I know he would have taken Prior, if I had taken Johnson.   As of this writing Johnson has 531 points, Prior 109, a swing of 422 points.   You don’t think that would have made a difference in the standings? Just one simple little pick.
ª In the "Paddle your Own Canoe" Dept.   I am so very much looking forward to the San Diego trip.   I have already been robbed out of one vacation this summer, so I am primed for this little trip.   I am most enthused by the turn-out.   And as we lament the absence of the league’s funniest member (No not Denny, the other one) we must fondly and yet, quizzically, remember the harangue laid upon Johnny by Mr.   Hurlbut one hot Chicago eve, many years ago.   How amazing life is.....did any of us at the time even suspect that it would be Bobby without a paddle, no longer the Master & Commander of his ship?
§ Just finished the Ted Williams biography by Leigh Montville.   I have never been a big Williams fan, but I truly enjoyed the book.   He was an amazing person, but the book also exposes many of his flaws.   Last summer I read a Joe DiMaggio biography and it is no contest, that Williams, with all his problems, comes out ahead.   DiMaggio comes off as an anti-social, money grubbing prick.   Williams, according to the book, didn’t obsess about money, just wasn’t good in his marriage and family relationships.   However, he was great to his friends and he had a lot of them.   DiMaggio just cared about getting paid for everything and had few true friends.   Actually the guy who comes off the best, if you add in the Halberstam book: "The Teammates," is Dom DiMaggio.   I never realized what a good player he was and he had great personal and financial success after baseball.


You know I am out of material when I resort to trivia questions, but here are a couple, which have some slight relevance to the League and the Trip.

For those of you who have roomed with me on prior trips:

Hall of Famer Rube Waddell and his catcher, Ossee Schreckengost, were roommates when the Philadelphia Athletics went on the road.   In 1904 Schreckengost refused to re-sign with the A’s unless a certain clause was inserted in both his and Waddell’s contracts.   What was the clause?

For you Omahans:

Who was the last pitcher to steal 5 or more bases in a season?

To remember League stars of the past:

Who stole the most bases in the 1990's?

Four players in history have had 30 plus homers and hitting streaks of 30 or more in the same season.   Two are active players, name them.

Who was the first player in major league history to bat in 1000 games as a DH and play 1000 games at another position?

Which player was the leading RBI man of the 1980's?

What second place team finished the most games behind the division winner?

Who pitched in the 1981 Little League World Series, but did not make his professional pitching debut until the 2000 season?

That should be more than enough.   Answers to be given in San Diego.    Ernie, I forgot to write down the weeks’ totals and I could find the top hitters and pitchers nowhere on my computer.    Sue me.    Best wishes to all.    See you in San Diego.               McBlunder






Nice work from McBlunder in his 7th Inning Stretch. Timely, pithy, self-deprecating, mournful, all vintage McBlunder traits. Well done, Elongated One, well done.


I see that Griffey is out for the season, again. Now that’s a big surprise.


I’m still thoroughly chapped about Magpie bailing out his bosom buddy Possum by single-handedly levitating him out of the fleabag motel bed that Possum made for himself. If this wasn’t out-and-out collusion, or a transparent payback for Possum’s favors past and present, then it was an act of utter stupidity. Why else would Curbie give such value for Possum’s cap-busting trio of Dunn, Valentin and Teixana? When Itchie takes The Cup to the engravers, I heartily recommend that he have the name "Pos-Pie" or "Trick-Sum" ensconced onto our beloved trophy. FOUL, I say!


You may have seen on the news this week or read in the paper about Mike Wallace getting arrested in New York for "lunging" at a police officer who was trying to inspect a meatloaf that Wallace had reportedly taken out of a restaurant. Hmm. If somebody was involved smuggling a meatloaf out of a restaurant, or lunging at the constabulary to protect said meatloaf, I’m almost sure that Shamu* must have somehow been involved. We’ll have to check on Sir Charles’ alibi for that evening.


I read that Weird Al Yankovic is playing the Lied Center in Lincoln later this month. I guess we now know why Underbelly isn’t making the trip to San Diego with us next week. He loved him in Branson, so why wouldn’t U-Bob go to see Weird Al in his own backyard?


I’m not whining, no, I’m not, but my Senators pitching staff continues to pace the league in team ERA, but is still collectively hovering around the .500 won-loss percentage. Is there no justice?


If there was justice, then my 2nd and 4th round draft picks, Roy Halladay and Billy Wagner, would be healthy, pitching, and leading my deserving Senators team to another title.




But enough about me and my problems. Good luck to all in the Fourth Quarter of the season, and see you in San Diego.






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